Move over Will and Kate, Hawaii has its own royal stories to share. The reach of alii, Hawaiian kings, is still evident throughout the Islands, but a visit to these homes puts the focus on the royal ladies, plus a third who just lived like royalty. At Iolani Palace, wander the luxurious staterooms and personal quarters where Queen Liliuokalani sought refuge after her overthrow, and peep at the Hawaiian crown jewels in the basement. The meticulously restored 19th century landmark is a great stop on a walking tour of downtown Honolulu. Farther from town, along the Pali Highway, Queen Emma’s Summer Palace is less grand but nonetheless laden with captivating personal belongings and beautiful furnishings. A different breed of royalty is on display at wealthy tobacco heiress Doris Duke’s coastal estate, Shangri-La. The magnificent home contains a staggering collection of priceless Islamic art pieces. You’ll be blown away by its extravagant Eastern architecture and lavish attention to detail and might even forget you’re in Hawaii… until you see its insane ocean view.
The tour guides gives you a lot of background into the monarchy and Hawaiian history. The building is beautifully restored and the Friends of Iolani Palace have recovered several original items auctioned from the palace. People donated many lovely priceless vases, furniture, etc. back to palace for all to enjoy. Go early. There is parking on the premise. Take a supply of quarters. Easy bus access too.
Royal Residences and More Nearby
364 South King Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813